Beilstein database exceeds ten million reactions

Frankfurt, Germany - June 15, 2006 - MDL Information Systems GmbH is pleased to announce that the Beilstein database now provides more than ten million structure-searchable reactions. Passing this important milestone emphasizes the enduring value of the Beilstein database as the essential first step in chemical discovery.

The Beilstein database extracts high quality data about compounds and reactions from relevant, peer-reviewed publications. As the world’s largest factual database in organic chemistry, Beilstein also includes more than 320 million experimental (rather than calculated) properties and facts for compounds and reactions. Since the first reaction was documented in 1771, the database has been continually updated, with new reactions and compounds increasing significantly over the last eight years. During the past two years, the rate of expansion has increased exponentially, accelerating the entry of the ten millionth reaction. In 2005 more than 700,000 compounds were either updated or added. Today, Beilstein is a rich source of chemical and physical property data enabling researchers to plan effective synthetic routes for novel compounds and enhancing research productivity.

The ten millionth reaction was extracted from a paper entitled “Enantioselective synthesis of the phosphate esters of the immunosuppressive lipid FTY720” written by Dr. Xuequan Lu and Dr. Robert Bittman, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Queens College of the City University of New York, Flushing, NY and published in Tetrahedron Letters 47 (2006) 825-827.

"We are pleased to see one more application of the groundbreaking Sharpless asymmetric epoxidation (ASE) reaction get the additional attention it deserves by being highlighted as part of the ten millionth reaction cited by Beilstein," said Dr. Bittman. "The pure enantiomers of the immunosuppressant FTY720-phosphate described in our paper have a potential use in the prevention of kidney transplant rejection and the treatment of autoimmune diseases; the ASE reaction was a key step in the synthesis of these compounds. The Beilstein database is widely acknowledged to be an indispensable search tool for finding structures, reaction conditions and biological effects."

Researchers can access the Beilstein database via the Internet using MDL® CrossFire Direct through the MDL® CrossFire Commander interface offered by MDL Information Systems, GmbH. Beilstein is also available via the powerful DiscoveryGate® Internet content platform offered by MDL Information Systems, Inc. (‘Elsevier MDL’). For information on searching reactions, substances and publications using the Beilstein database, visit

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MDL is a registered trademark of MDL Information Systems, Inc. (‘Elsevier MDL’) in the United States and/or other countries. CrossFire is Copyright © 1995-2006 and a registered trademark of MDL Information Systems GmbH in Germany. Beilstein Database: Copyright © 1988-2006, Beilstein-Institut zur Förderung der Chemischen Wissenschaften licensed to Beilstein GmbH and MDL Information Systems GmbH. All rights reserved. All other trademarks mentioned in this document are the property of their respective owners.

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Media contact:Jean Holt
Elsevier MDL
Senior Director, Marketing and Communications
Phone: (925) 543-7398